In case you missed it last week, Sen. Missy Irvin (R-Mountain View) put out a lengthy statement explaining that she was “opposed to moving forward and will not vote to fund the appropriation for the private option” in the upcoming fiscal session. I discuss in my weekly column for Stephen Media that her vote could put the continuation on the funding in danger. Irvin’s concerns seem to be focused on the reimbursement rate to some doctors and on what she sees as a lack of progress on the health savings account program within the private option.
But despite her turnaround, she earned a Republican primary opponent based on her previous support. Tea Party Republican Phil Grace of Heber Springs announced Wednesday he will run against her citing her support for the private option as one of the chief reasons.
“I’ve been spending time over the last few months in different parts of Senate District 18 and I have repeatedly heard that the people want an alternative candidate on the ballot this year. My opponent’s record of voting for the largest government expansion in Arkansas’ history, known as the Private Option, is troubling to many of the Republican voters in SD18. It’s especially concerning since she was originally opposed to the private option, but at the last minute added her name as a co-sponsor and voted for it. I’m firmly opposed to Obamacare in Arkansas and legislation that helps implement any part of it, such as medicaid expansion under the Private Option,” said Grace in his announcement.
“Right now Washington is broken and trillions of dollars in debt. We can’t count on D.C. to keep promises for any funding and Arkansas certainly can’t foot the bill. The only way to deal with D.C.’s issues is for states to band together and push back,” he added.
Grace listed at the top of his conservative stances that he is “opposed to any form of ObamaCare implementation.”
You may recall Grace from his run for State Representative District 66 losing the Republican primary to Rep. Josh Miller. Grace received 44% to Miller’s 56%. Grace is a teacher at Heber Springs School District, a former JP in Cleburne County, and is a
regional director for the Curtis Coleman for Governor campaign (Grace tells me he stepped down from the Coleman Campaign due to his own race.)